Learn how to make tomato cages that won't fall down
Tired of flimsy store-bought tomato cages falling over because they are too short to support a tall tomato plant?
In this article you will learn how to build your own heavy duty tomato cages. These are the same tomato plant support that many farmers rely on to keep their tomato plants supported and growing throughout the gardening season. There is an initial investment to build these homemade tomato cages but they are very sturdy and you can reuse them year after year.
You will be using concrete remesh also called concrete reinforcing wire to make the tomato support. Remesh looks like fencing with 6 inch by 6 inch square holes that you can easily fit your hand through to pick juicy ripe tomatoes. Remesh is 5’ tall which will allow your tomatoes to grow tall and bountiful. It can be purchased from most big box hardware stores and is sold in 50’ rolls 150’ rolls or 5’ lengths. You will need about 5’ to make each tomato cage therefore the 50’ roll will make 10 cages and the 150’ role will make 30 cages (or roughly the amount needed for a 100’ row at a small farm).
You will need a pair of bolt cutters to cut the wire and some heavy duty gloves as the cut ends of the wire can be very sharp. It is also very useful to have a friend help you with this project. You will be unrolling the wire rolls and will need help holding it open so that it doesn’t fold up on you.
I make cages out of 5’ lengths because I have found that it works well for me. If you prefer larger or smaller diameter tomato plant support cages you can cut the wire to 4’ or 6’ lengths. Each length of the wire remesh will be rolled into a cylinder that is placed around the tomato plant for support.
Step 1: Cut the remesh into the lengths you desire (I use 5’ lengths). You will want to use the bolt cutters to cut down the edge of one of the vertical wires, leaving spikes on the other end that will be used to attach the two sides of the cylinder.
Step 2: Carefully bend the remesh panel into a cylinder threading the spikes or tabs around the outside vertical wire and bending them backwards to hold the cylinder together.
Step 3: Use the bolt cutters to cut the bottom horizontal wire completely off leaving spikes that will be driven into the ground to secure the cage.
Step 4: Install your tomato cage around your baby tomato plant. Stab the cage’s bottom spike into the ground and gently push down until the cage is as low as it can go or until the cage is secure. For added support you may want to sink a piece of rebar about two feet into the ground next to each homemade tomato cage and zip tie the two together.
That’s it, you’re done! Don't forget to add some compost or worm compost to maximize your harvest. Share gardening with your kids early on so that they will love the hobby as well.
Enjoy reusing your heavy duty homemade tomato cages year after year. These cages can also support other climbing vegetables like sugar snap peas, cucumbers, and green beans. Share this article with friends so that they too can learn how to make tomato cages that won't fall over.
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